The recipients of Zakat, according to Qur’an are as follows:”Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer (the funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to truth); for those in bondage and in debt; and for the wayfarer: (Thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom.” (Qur’an 9:60)
1. FUQARA: people who are poor and who possess more than their basic needs but do not possess wealth equal to Nisab.
2. MASAKEEN: people who are destitute and extremely needy to the extent they are forced to beg for their daily food rations.
3. AL-AMILEEN: people appointed by an Islamic Government to collect Zakat.
4. MU-ALLAFATU-QULUB: persons who have recently accepted Islam and are in need of basic necessities who would benefit from encouragement by Muslims which would help strengthen their faith.
5. AR-RIQAAB: slaves who are permitted to work for remuneration and have an agreement from their masters to purchase their freedom on payment of fixed amounts.
6. AL-GHAARIMEEN: persons who have a debt and do not possess any other wealth or goods with which they could repay that which they owe. It is conditional that this debt was not created for any un-Islamic purpose.
7. FI-SABILILLAH: persons who have to carry out an obligatory deed which has become obligatory on them and subsequently (due to loss of wealth) are unable to complete that obligation.
8. IBN-US-SABEEL: persons who are travelers and during the course of their journey do not possess basic necessities, though they are well to do at home. They could be given Zakat in order to fulfill travel needs to return home.
PERSONS WHO CANNOT BE GIVEN ZAKAT:
1. Zakat cannot be given to the descendants of Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam);
2. Zakat cannot be given to parents and grandparents. In the same manner one’s children and grandchildren cannot be given Zakat. A husband and wife cannot give Zakat to each other. Zakat contributions cannot be given to such institutions or organizations who do not give the rightful recipients possession of Zakat, but instead use Zakat funds for constructions, investment or salaries.
THE PUNISHMENT FOR NOT GIVING ZAKAAT:
“And there are those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, announce to them a most grievous penalty (when) on the Day of Judgment heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Hell. Then with it they will be branded on their forehead and their flanks and backs. (It will be said to them) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves, taste then the treasure that you have been hoarding.”